Monday, May 4, 2015

Reflecting on the Joys of May at Penn

Seeing the green trees sprouting, the early morning birds chirping and the pink cherry blossoms erupting are reminders that it is May in Philadelphia.  May at Penn is magical!  While the absolute highlight is seeing the Kimmel Center packed to the brim with families who have traveled from all over the world and from all corners of the U.S. to celebrate their daughters, sons, siblings, parents, partners and friends graduating with coveted undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees, there are many other events that make May Penn Nursing’s favorite time of year.  Celebrating faculty who received awards from students, peers and administrators and reviewing their academic year’s extraordinary accomplishments with awe have always been a humbling experience for me.  Then there is the end of the year gathering of our engaged, efficient and effective staff and celebrating them and their accomplishments.  It is always heartwarming to celebrate the fruits of their partnerships with faculty and students which culminate in recruiting the best class, graduating award winning students, providing exemplary education, winning financial support for our scholarly mission, and bringing health, healing and smiles to our elderly at LIFE.  The impact of the staff’s work is felt in every corner of our school.  But “May Joys” do not end there!  Seeing our University alums and their families on campus again, hearing their reflections about the Penn experience and listening to their life stories completes the circle for the joys of May.
Congratulating and celebrating students, faculty, staff, alumni and families, what “May” is about.

Ah, the Joys of May at Penn!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On my mind...

When I received the purple legacy book and the album from the May Gala, it made me reflect on my unending gratitude and of all who contributed my deanship.  I continue to be deeply touched by all the words, love and generosity. I am humbled to have been the recipient of the warmth and friendship of alumni, the board of overseers, colleagues, students and mentees. I consider myself the luckiest person in the whole world and I continue to bask in the support that this Penn institution has given the School and me all through my deanship. 

After the many intense collaborations and warm friendships I have forged, for numerous people, the question is, "What is she doing now?" Therefore, I decided to share a narrative of my first year post stepping up from the deanship. Here are some highlights of what I have been thinking about and doing:

  • Spreading the message about interprofessional education and supporting the development of action plans for transforming education in Portugal, Colombia, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, Mexico and South Africa.
  • Spreading the message about the vital role of partnerships and collaboration with other schools, organizations, boards of overseers and alumni locally and globally.
  • Listening, dialoguing and exploring indications of progress in women’s health. For example reviewing policies against harassment and violence, identifying best strategies implemented by different countries to increase access of women to reproductive health as well as girls’ access to education, and listening to women’s voices.
  • Examining progress in the education of nurses and in the policies that enhance their scope of practice.
  • Here is an important development. Mahmoud has been able to accompany me and has been almost equally engaged with colleagues and students in most of these countries.
  • Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with our 5 grandchildren in Aruba.
  • Joining Mahmoud in Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea in Egypt to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Finally, as much as I am grateful for my wonderful send off by you, I am also very appreciative of your generosity and warmth in welcoming our new dean, Dr. Antonia M. Villarruel.
 You are a gift to her and she is an incredible gift to our school.